Who Am I: Who is the Self?

by Linda Sensei


Last week we worked on Koan’s addressing non-attachment. The quote I used was “the strongest attachment of all is the attachment to one’s self”.

In meditation, the following came up addressing this. Initially I called it “Ode to broken Bones” but it really addresses the question- “Who is the Self”.

Aug 1st 2013, I awoke and looked into a mirror and freaked out. Who is that woman staring back at me? It’s not Linda, Linda who prides herself on youth. Who’s that woman whose neck is filled with wrinkles, whose back is stiff, whose wrist and fingers are swollen and in pain? Happy Birthday, you have now reached your 70th year and crossed the bridge from middle to “old age”.

NO! NO! NO! Cried the 20 year old who could stay up all night and drink the boys under the table.

NO! NO! NO! Cried the 35 year old, who as a single mother cradled two beautiful children, marched on picket lines and worked to put food on her babies’ table,

NO! NO! NO! Cried the 40 y.o. Who skied down mountains and camped outside under the moon and stars.

NO! NO! NO! Cried the 52 y.o. Who just celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary with her second husband and body surfed the in the oceans of Mexico.

NO! NO! NO! Cried the 65y.o. Who still was working plopping on the ground playing with 3 year olds and sharing information on growth and development with their parents?

Who then was this wrinkled woman with creaky bones? Whose kitchen, all of a sudden, was filled with powders and pills to silence the achy bones and bunions?

Who is that woman whose children still go skiing and snorkeling? Who tells her children she can’t because of her achy bones.

Who is that woman? Who am I?

Am I my bag of bones or am I the song in my heart that can still sing at the top of her lungs in the shower. Am I the canvas, which is painted with wrinkles and crinkles or am I the smile behind the wrinkle that lights up a darkened room.

Am I the achy old bones or am I the bubbly and cuddly woman who can still reach out and embrace you in a warm hug. Who can, with a loving word, dry all your tears?

Who am I?

I am the light, the moon, the stars, the good, the bad, and the ugly; the beauty and the beast; the bag of bones and the barrel of laughs.

I am all those things and none of those things. I am and that is enough.

On page 150 From “Koans” Rev Gyomay states, “ growing old and aging are the realities of life and one must face them, regardless…Acceptance is Transcendence.”


Linda Sensei was part of the Lay Minister program with the Bright Dawn Way of Oneness Sangha.  She passed away in 2016. She is missed.  To learn more about the Bright Dawn Way of Oneness please visit us here.


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